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Conflict In Chad

In Chad, rebels known as the United Front For Change, attacked the capital city of Ndjamena. The rebels are trying to overthrow the government of President Idriss Deby and prevent a presidential election that is scheduled to be held in May.

The rebels, based in Sudan's western Darfur region, began their campaign against Chad's government in October 2005. President Deby has been criticized for alleged mismanagement of Chad's petroleum wealth and for his inability to control the violence that has spilled into Chad from Darfur.

The United Nations Security Council issued a statement expressing their concern about the attacks in Chad and called upon the rebels to end the violence and participate in the democratic process. Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, France's U-N ambassador, says the Chadian rebels have links to Arab militias in Darfur. The pro-Sudanese militias are accused of carrying out ethnic cleansing against black Africans in Darfur.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says that the United States is concerned about the situation along the border between Chad and Sudan":

"We are very much interested in seeing the political crisis in Chad resolved and that it is up to the people of Chad to resolve any political differences they may have within the confines of their law and through dialogue and peaceful means, not through violence."

Mr. McCormack says the United States is doing everything it can "to address the immediate concerns of humanitarian aid as well as security issues":

"On the security front, that means working very closely with the A-U [African Union] mission and then pushing forward on a couple of different fronts, both with NATO as well as the U-N. On the humanitarian side, certainly we're at the forefront of providing humanitarian assistance to ameliorate the situation in Darfur, and that would include doing everything we can to address those problems that have come to the fore along the border with Chad and Sudan."

State Department spokesman McCormack says, "Ultimately, this has to be resolved on the political level. That's the long-term solution, not only for instability in Chad but also in Sudan."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.